Dec 1, 2010

Ice Storm '10

An exciting weather event in Fairbanks! Not quite as dramatic as the Rochester ice storm of '93, but beautiful and crazy still. People were actually ice skating on the streets here and the U closed for 2 days. Our snow is normally too dry to make a snowman - in fact, I can't remember seeing one in Fairbanks before this year - so the freezing rain led to a snowman population explosion all around town. Being trapped at home for a few days was really nice for me and the kitties, not so much for Mike at the mine, but he made it home for Thanksgiving.

Ice storm walks down Ookpik

I love the colander hat!

cozy cats

Nov 30, 2010

bonfire season

Sky lantern takeoff

Sky lantern in flight

Dan's birthday fireworks

Flight delayed

Our first piece of original art (oil painting by local Fairbanks artist Robin Barker)

Oct 27, 2010

Escape to Anchorage

We had a fun weekend road trip to Anchorage. Hiking, eating, spending our PFD, visiting old Fairbanks friends, and drinking with Uncle Alec. Beautiful drive down and back, and beautiful time there!

Japanese-looking Chugach
Reba, our awesome Girdwood hostess
Abstract Turnagain Arm
Los Anchorage sunset from Earthquake Park

Oct 18, 2010

autumn falling

Summer ended suddenly. It was going along all warm and sunny, than whamo! it turned cold and dark and snowed. I'm trying to stay excited about wintertime, but October can be a rough transition month, when there's not enough snow to ski, and the remnants of summer still hang around - tan lines, studless bike tires, geranium plants from the garden now blooming happily on the window sills. Fall is such a nice time too, but it's short here in Fairbanks. Autumn is pretty much one month - September. A great autumn it was this year.  
The birch trees in our yard drop their leaves all at once.
Last plant to bloom in the garden.

Beautiful sunset at Quartz Lake.

Morning canoe at Quartz Lake.

Sep 21, 2010

Mike vs the Equinox

Mike ran his 5th Equinox Marathon last weekend - 5 years since his 4th - in a PR of 3:51 to place 33rd out of the men. Way to go Mike! I think I'm more proud than he is. It was an absolutely glorious fall day on the trails, 40 degrees at the start, 65 at the finish, blue skies, sunshine, birch trees the whole way.

The first Olympic marathon was run in 1896, and the first women's Olympic event wasn't held until almost a century later, in 1984! This was the 48th running of the Equinox marathon in Fairbanks. Over 4000 feet of elevation gain over the course. It's a toughie.

Pre-race bravado
Late-race fatigue (around mile 23)
Post-race relief?
Stop taking pictures of me or I'll make you run the ultra next year.

Aug 3, 2010


We hiked up Donnelly Dome for the first time and saw a lone caribou far off in the distance, which offered this quintessential Alaska scene:
The caribou kept his distance and a close eye on us. But I don't think he understood the concept of a hiking trail... We really surprised each other at the top!

Jul 27, 2010


I love summer in Fairbanks. It's such a crazy, bright time of year. We're like squirrels packing away all the sun in storage for winter. It works! I am already exhausted and looking forward to dark, cold, peaceful, quiet... I guess it's a good sign that I am excited for winter. (It only took 7 years!) Although if I re-read this in six months I'll wonder what was the matter with me?

It's starting to get dark, kindof, late at night.

Jul 6, 2010

healthy hiatus

Since starting a summer photography class, I've posted exactly zero photos on this blog... mostly because I spend enough time in front of the computer - at work, and Photoshop for the class (digital photography). I've also been humbled by how little of the basics I remember of photography, and how little I knew about how to use my camera. The class is helping. Hopefully there will be a noticeable improvement in my photos as a result, but in the meantime I am getting back to the basics... a good thing!

May 8, 2010

caber toss

Thanks to Bennish's land, Bernie's truck, Jones' brawn, and some very sore shoulders, we got several loads of seasoned birch this weekend for the wood shed. yay!

May 1, 2010

Harmless Weather Instrument

I got to get out of the office and go photograph a weather balloon launch. The National Weather Service sends up a balloon twice a day, every day, at 3 am and 3 pm from Fairbanks (one of 92 U.S. locations). We needed a photo of a weather balloon and its radiosonde for one of our tutorials. It was a little tricky to capture since the balloon rises about 1000 ft/min, and the radiosonde is on a 90-foot tether. [So, a photo of the balloon and parachute for the radiosonde will have to do.]
The radiosonde transmits weather data (temp, pressure, humidity, wind speed) back to a receiver near the FAI airport at 1 Hz during its flight. There's actually a pretty involved circuit board with sensors in the radiosonde box, so it also includes a self-addressed bag to send the thing back. If you see a small styrofoam box lying out in a field, check it out!

Apr 22, 2010

Love means nothing to a tennis player

We had a fun (albeit cloudy and windy) tennis game with my brother's family in Round Rock. My two little nephews were really good despite some McEnroe antics after a few whiffs. I went into the bushes after a tennis ball, and found 8! None of which was the one we lost. Got a bit of poison ivy in the process, but it was well worth it.

Apr 20, 2010

crawfish carnage

It's crawfish season in Texas too. Delicious little critters - like miniature lobster. Even the claw meat is good, although you're lucky to get a piece bigger than a dime.

Apr 18, 2010

anatolian shepherds - lean, mean, barking machines

Took a quick, busy trip to Texas. Visited the family in Houston and Round Rock, then off to Ben and April's wedding in Beuscher State Park.  The air was pretty cool for April in south Texas, but still warmer than April in Interior Alaska. Plus it was bluebonnet season! - and poppies (well, they looked like white poppies anyway) and Indian paintbrush.  Beautiful! The trip was good, but really hectic. Too much to accomplish in 7 days.

Here is one chill day walking the dogs at my mom & Richard's in Tomball.  Left to right: Safi, Saya, and Matisse. They are all the same (pure) breed, but look rather different I think. After 5 years of intimidation, Mike and Matisse are finally buddies! It was a piece of grilled hamburger that ultimately did the trick. Mike finally got his hackles down and stopped snarling.

(ps. I know back-blogging is sortof cheating, but whatever.)

Apr 5, 2010

gray jay-z

The gray jays at Angel Rocks are obviously very used to people leaving a few crumbs behind at the vista point.

Apr 2, 2010

fond memories of fire drills

Friday 4 pm + sunny, warm Spring day + fire alarm = coincidence?  Turns out the Physics Journal Club is to blame for this one.  Thank you, Physics Journal Club!

Mar 30, 2010

little red rosie hood

Rosie's red hooded sweatshirt just kills me. Especially every time Anne says "come on, Rosie, let's get your hoodie on." 

Mar 28, 2010

down river picnic

The down river picnic is an all-day event that involves skiing down the Tanana River to Fish Wheel Bluff for hot drinks and a bonfire, followed by a potluck.  Great company, kids, dogs, sunshine, spring thaw, delicious food = good fun.

Mar 23, 2010

Sparkle and Soak

Quartz Lake, gorgeous Spring weekend.

Mar 19, 2010

Take it easy, Greasy, you ain't got far to slide.

Ice slides at the Ice Park. Probably the biggest attraction. I had to pass this year. Bumpy ride + sprained ankle. But it was fun to watch!